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Jason Bloomberg

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Transforming Digital Business in ‘Real-Time’

What is Real-Time, Anyway?

Transforming Digital Business in ‘Real-Time’

A central challenge for any digital transformation initiative is dealing with the ever-increasing pace of change – in the marketplace, in the technology environment, and in the world at large. Clearly, as customer expectations accelerate, our technology must keep up. Squeezing every last millisecond of performance leads to the demand for real-time – technology with no delays whatsoever, moving at the speed of thought itself.

If we examine this real-time requirement more closely, however, important nuances emerge. First, real-time never actually means instantaneous, as it always takes a certain amount of time for bits to find their way to their destination. But even more important for any digital professional to understand, the concept of real-time has several subtly different meanings – and understanding the differences is critical for making effective technology decisions.

What is Real-Time, Anyway?

From the perspective of the digital effort, the most important definition of real-time is low latency. Latency refers to how long a web site or app takes to respond to a click or other user interaction (either on a computer or a mobile device), and thus the faster, the better. Consumers are notoriously fickle, after all – add a few milliseconds of delay and they’ll defect in droves.clocks

Real-time may also refer to up-to-date information. In a breaking news situation, for example, people want the very latest information. I heard about the latest California earthquake in real-time from friends on Twitter – the news Web sites were at least ten minutes behind. Real-time airline or theater seat availability falls under this definition as well.

A third sense of real-time refers to human interactions. If you and your gamer buddies are going after zombies in a multiplayer game, for instance, you want the action to be real-time. Online voice conversations and some fast-paced auction sites also require this type of real-time.

Finally, we may be referring to real-time processing of information. Stock trading and online ad placement are two of the most familiar examples. Yes, latency must be as low as possible, but the bottleneck isn’t just serving up information to the user – it’s all the number crunching behind the scenes that must also take place at a blisteringly fast pace.

With these various definitions in mind, then, let’s take a quick look at several software vendors who all have real-time offerings of one sort or another – and yet, all with different meanings of real-time.

Read the entire article at http://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonbloomberg/2014/08/29/
transforming-digital-business-in-real-time/.

At the time of writing, Fiorano Software and MapR Technologies are Intellyx customers. Aerospike, Profium, and AppDynamics are not. Image Credit: Alan Cleaver.

More Stories By Jason Bloomberg

Jason Bloomberg is the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise. As president of Intellyx, Mr. Bloomberg brings his years of thought leadership in the areas of Cloud Computing, Enterprise Architecture, and Service-Oriented Architecture to a global clientele of business executives, architects, software vendors, and Cloud service providers looking to achieve technology-enabled business agility across their organizations and for their customers. His latest book, The Agile Architecture Revolution (John Wiley & Sons, 2013), sets the stage for Mr. Bloomberg’s groundbreaking Agile Architecture vision.

Mr. Bloomberg is perhaps best known for his twelve years at ZapThink, where he created and delivered the Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) SOA course and associated credential, certifying over 1,700 professionals worldwide. He is one of the original Managing Partners of ZapThink LLC, the leading SOA advisory and analysis firm, which was acquired by Dovel Technologies in 2011. He now runs the successor to the LZA program, the Bloomberg Agile Architecture Course, around the world.

Mr. Bloomberg is a frequent conference speaker and prolific writer. He has published over 500 articles, spoken at over 300 conferences, Webinars, and other events, and has been quoted in the press over 1,400 times as the leading expert on agile approaches to architecture in the enterprise.

Mr. Bloomberg’s previous book, Service Orient or Be Doomed! How Service Orientation Will Change Your Business (John Wiley & Sons, 2006, coauthored with Ron Schmelzer), is recognized as the leading business book on Service Orientation. He also co-authored the books XML and Web Services Unleashed (SAMS Publishing, 2002), and Web Page Scripting Techniques (Hayden Books, 1996).

Prior to ZapThink, Mr. Bloomberg built a diverse background in eBusiness technology management and industry analysis, including serving as a senior analyst in IDC’s eBusiness Advisory group, as well as holding eBusiness management positions at USWeb/CKS (later marchFIRST) and WaveBend Solutions (now Hitachi Consulting).